Former Fiji elections chief under investigation by anti-corruption agency

Fiji’s former Supervisor of Elections Mohammad Saneem is under investigation by the Fiji Anti-Corruption Agency for alleged abuse of office.

Saneem was stopped by border officials from flying out of the country this morning.

The Fijian Elections Office said Saneem is alleged to have on numerous occasions during his tenure with FEO unlawfully authorised payments of sitting allowances to members of the Electoral Commission (EC).

The FEO said the Constitutional Offices Commission had clarified to Saneem that the allowance for the Chairperson and members of the EC remained at the same rate of $FJ500 per person, per meeting.

However, Saneem continued to give instructions for sitting allowance to be paid to the Chairperson and the members for attending events other than meetings, including social functions.

FEO said Section 5 of the Electoral Act of 2014 stipulates, meetings held by the Electoral Commission are to be determined by the chairperson or a majority of the members of the Commission.

The Electoral Commission could also hold meetings virtually.

The FEO said Saneem continued to deviate from this and constantly gave instructions for payment of $FJ500 allowance to the Electoral Commission members.

Saneem, who was suspended last month, resigned this week.

Attorney-General Siromi Turaga confirmed to Fijivillage news that Saneem was trying to board a flight to Australia this morning but was stopped by border officials as he is now under investigation by FICAC.

FICAC Commissioner Rashmi  Aslam told FBC News, that they have started the investigation.



Photo FEO/ Facebook  Caption: Former Fiji Supervisor of Elections, Mohammad Saneem